I recently had a conversation with a few of my classmates (Whats Up Missouri Western Northland Cohort). One day after class we were talking about potential job options. As the conversation began we were describing our ideal job and all of the reasons that it would be perfect for us. We discussed how great it would be to become a full time paraprofessional, especially one who receives benefits (A Paraprofessional is someone who works with or assists a professional or certified teacher). We all went on to agree this would be the best job to have; a paradise of sorts. It would allow us to work with students without the pressures of having to lesson plan, be in charge, or take responsibility if something were to go wrong.
Our conversation concluded as we agreed that simply showing up, following a few directions, and dodging all of the pressures and responsibilities of being a fulltime teacher would be an ideal situation.
As I reflect on the conversation I realize how often I fall into the trap of seeking an easy and comfortable life, specifically when it comes to future job options. Everything inside me tells me to settle for easy, settle for comfortable, and settle for less.
Do what you’re told,
This mentality seems to be flooding our society, our culture, and our generation.
(Excuse my randomness as I reach to make a connection. Keep in mind I love puns. Welcome to my mind.)
In Coldplay’s song “Paradise” the main line is “Para…Para…Paradise.” This extremely catchy, and slightly annoying, chorus always gets stuck in my head and leaves me singing, humming, and bobbing my head to the song for the rest of the day.
In the same way this song gets stuck in our heads I think the “para…para…paradise” mentality can sneak it’s way into our life. We find ourselves thinking (or singing) that a para job would be paradise. Our generation seems to be not only content with having jobs like a paraprofessional; we might actually be striving for them. Yes, they would be easier. Yes, they would be more comfortable. But is that the goal? Where does making an impact, having influence, and chasing our passions come into play?
I think we can start with answering these 3 questions:
- Are we okay with simply being told what to do and following directions?
- Do we want to just show up and get by?
- Are we only seeking a job that is comfortable and easy?
- Are we looking to invest and be involved in something that matters?
- Are we willing to do the hard work needed to contribute our art? (Art = talents, skills, and abilities that are unique to YOU)
- Can we work towards a job where we embrace the pressures and responsibilities because we know it will be worth it?
You have skills, abilities, and talents unlike anyone else in your community. You owe it to yourself, and to everyone around you, to strive for your full potential. It won’t be easy, it may not be comfortable, but I promise it will be worth it.
Join the conversation:
- How are YOU pursuing your passions despite having to work hard and be a little uncomfortable? (Brag a about yourself a little bit!)
- What elements would you use to choose your dream job?
- Lastly, why the heck is Coldplay so popular?
- Yes I realize this song is not actually about being a paraprofessional.
- No you shouldn’t comment and tell me the real meaning of the song.
- I have nothing against paraprofessionals. In fact, I am one.